Episode 1.09: Polarity
THE PODCAST: JAN. 8 /19
HOW TO BUILD BRIDGES FOR ACTION AND CAPACITY THROUGH LISTENING
In episode nine, Tim and Tuesday dig into the reflex to act without pausing to consider the schisms at-play — and illuminate how and why we retreat from difficulty (and from each other).
Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.
1.09 —— SHOW NOTES
Tues: Tend to be a person who really likes “this” and “that” even when they are seemingly opposites and it’s very true around my whole personality. Attribute to being a bi-racial person. If you are a black and white person you live inside that polarity.
Tim: The world is becoming more unpredictable and uncertain, the speed of change is incredibly rapid, information saturation, economic/social/environmental uncertainty… in that context, it’s quite easy to duck for cover and want simple answers.
Tim: The polarization of our societies and communities is a highly ineffectual way to actually deal with our reality. The only way we’re going to be able to navigate these problems that are so pervasive is by reaching out to one another to figure it out together.
Tues: What can experts (neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, behaviourists, facilitators, marketers, politicians) bring—what they know about human beings and human behaviours—to bear into something bigger?
Tim: When I look at leadership on a national and international level, feel there is a real lack of statespeople. Where is the compelling, unifying voice? Where is the person who can stand up in the face of so much insanity and create some level of rallying cry for people to gather around that has some sanity around it?
Tim: Polarization points me to the fact that we are just not listening to one another. If we were listing to one another we’d become less polarized. My desire is to act—how do we do something? What is the intervention we need to make? How do we build bridges?
Tues: Bringing us back to our work—that is why listening exercises are so important. Listening to understand the other person /see the other person is a real skill. It takes intention. It shifts everything.
SONG: ‘Come Together’ by Michael Jackson
POEM: The Listeners by Walter de la Mare
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Source: The Collected Poems of Walter de la Mare (1979)
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